A Lot of Zeros

January 14, 2016

1.3 billion dollars, that’s a one and a three followed by eight zeros.  That’s the projected jackpot in the US Lottery Powerball this week.  And there will be people who will play this week who didn’t play last week because apparently last weeks’ jackpot of just under a billion dollars wasn’t large enough, but 1.3 billion, now you are talking some serious cash.

Here’s a question, how many billions of dollars had to be lost, probably by people who couldn’t afford to lose it, in order to have a jackpot that large? Billions of dollars that could have been spent or saved instead of gambled away.

I’ve heard state run lotteries defined as: a tax on those who are bad at math.  But the reality is that they are a tax on dreams.  The dreams of those who see it as their only escape from their present financial situation. 

A third of those who buy lottery tickets do it for fun, they can afford to throw the price of a ticket away, but for the other two thirds it is a form of financial planning.

The reality is, that for a majority of the world’s population, just living in the US or Canada would feel like winning the lottery.    Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.